Arms Trade Treaty: EU steps up support in fight against illicit arms trade

The EU will provide new funding for the effective implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The Council today adopted a decision allowing the EU to support three projects of the ATT Secretariat in Geneva with a contribution of EUR 1.37 million. The aim is to help states parties to the treaty to strengthen their national arms export control systems. Export control systems are key instruments for preventing the diversion of, and illicit trade in arms, and contribute to more responsible trade in military equipment and technology.

More specifically, the EU’s support will enable the following actions:

  • training local and regional ATT experts to deliver implementation assistance and reduce reliance on external consultants;
  • creating a database to match treaty implementation needs and resources; and
  • building IT and communications mechanisms to enable more effective cooperation between states parties’ points of contact and the ATT Secretariat.

The project also strengthens the ATT Secretariatʼs institutional capacity to provide sustainable support to the states parties. It fits within the recently adopted strategy to strengthen the EUʼs contribution to rules-based multilateralism, by promoting global peace and security.

This decision is also part of the EUʼs longstanding support of the ATT. In addition to facilitating early negotiations on the treaty, the EU has provided approx. EUR 15 million for numerous projects aimed at promoting its universal adoption and implementation.

The ATTʼs universal adoption and implementation are crucial to the reduction of violence and human suffering in conflict-affected regions. In force since December 2014, the Arms Trade Treaty regulates international trade in conventional arms, their parts and ammunition, with the goal of eradicating the illicit sale and diversion thereof. All EU Member States are parties to the Treaty. The ATT Secretariat manages the reporting by states parties, their national points of contact, and national control lists. In addition to organising the conferences of states parties and intersessional work, it also administers the ATT Voluntary Trust Fund, which assists states’ implementation of the Treaty.